There are a million of these tutorials on the Internet, and I don’t claim to have the very best ones. But they are fun, and I thought I’d share an easy one if you’re interested in giving paracord a shot. Two tips before we get started:
1. I buy my paracord size 550 from army surplus stores: 100 feet for under $10, a lot cheaper than the craft kits with it.
2. I never cut my cords until the bracelet is finished, in case I don’t like it. So I don’t expect you to either.
As far as length, then, for this tutorial, and with as tight as I do the strings, 1″ of bracelet = 7″ of string needed (a 7″ bracelet would need about 49″ of string, plus a little more room for knots and finishing). Measure your guesstimated length (plus a tad more) and tie the two cords together in a starter knot (as seen in picture 1 below).
Here’s the tutorial (see text below for clarifications per picture):
2. The two long, loose ends you measured go on the outside. The ends attached to the ball of string go in the middle and never make any knots.
3-5. Follow the over-under-up pattern using the outside strings, alternating colors. Be sure to tighten the string really well between stitches. Paracord can handle some pretty hefty tugging.
6. Keep working until it’s as long as you would like. Make sure it lays flat; it has a tendency to curve. Don’t let it.
7-8. A sampler finish knot. You can do whatever finisher you want. I’m not entirely satisfied with this one, but it does all right for me.
9. When you’re satisfied with your bracelet, cut the outside cords with maybe a quarter inch extra space. Use a lighter and melt the ends. Be careful! It holds heat really well. Wet your fingers before you touch the melted string, if you do.
Cut the two center strings with enough room to both melt them together and to wrap around the knot. This part is trickiest. I usually have my husband do it, because he likes to play with fire.
There you have it! Let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy!